This is a work of fiction. The names of the places and characters are entirely fictional, with the exception of Vermont which exists in a fiction of its own. The characters are adults and over the age of 18.
Acknowledgements: My sincere thanks to everyone who commented both complimentary and critical on Mollified Magic, my first attempt at creative writing. Your comments have encouraged me to keep writing.
Pixie Magic was edited by Chris6160 and LoneWolf68Alpha. My thanks and appreciation go out to them for the many hours of editing, story line suggestions and general advice they have each given me.
Chapter 1: The Wounded Doe
There was a gentle rapping on the door to my 3rd floor dorm apartment. “Not another interruption,” I thought, “I’m never going to be able to pass my veterinarian certification exam at this rate.”
When I opened the door, Kelly stood there in the buff, her 34 C tits on full display. A pile of clothes was pooled at her feet.
“May I come in?” she asked, a look of regret was on her face.
“Of course,” I replied, stepping aside so she could enter.
She walked past me, lightly brushing the front of my shorts with her hand as she passed. She left her clothes in a pile in the hallway. I closed the door and when I turned around, she threw her arms around my neck and placed her mouth over my lips and slipped her tongue inside. I reached down and cupped the smooth and muscular cheeks of her ass.
She jumped up and wrapped her legs around my lower back as I held her by her thighs. Her soft breasts crushed against my chest.
She broke the kiss as I carried her to the bedroom.
“I’m sorry, Skyler,” she said, “I was wrong. I never should have left you. Please take me back.”
“My exam is tomorrow,” I said, “I need to study.”
“I miss that big cock of yours,” she said, “I need to feel it inside me. Fuck me. Fuck me now.”
Bam! Bam! Bam!
I groaned. Just five more minutes and my wet dream about my ex would be complete. I rolled over and checked the clock. It was 4 AM. Who could possibly be needing me at this time of the morning?
Bam! Bam! Bam!
Still not fully awake, I was just becoming aware that the pounding came from the door to my apartment. I’m a veterinarian and I live an apartment above my clinic. My commute to and from work consists of going up and down a flight of stairs. Since the door at the bottom of the stairs was inside the clinic, there could only be one person pounding on the door at the top of the stairs.
“Hold your horses, Fern!” I shouted at the door, “I’m coming!”
I threw a bathrobe over my tee shirt and boxers. I fumbled for the sash to the robe as I reached the door.
I swung open the door just as she was on the downstroke of the third knock. The lithe blonde with shoulder-length hair and sparkling blue eyes fell forward with the momentum of her arm against the door that was no longer there. I caught her as she fell into my chest. She stepped on my foot to regain her balance, and her braless chest rubbed against me as she stood face-to-face just a couple inches shorter than me.
I hadn’t succeeded in closing my robe when I got to the door and my wet dream erection pressed against her stomach.
Fern Meadows was my TA or “Technical Assistant” at my veterinary clinic. She had an uncanny knack with animals and could calm the most nervous cat or dog better than anyone I had ever seen. But that was just one of her many things about Fern that I admired.
We were both single and worked closely together and because of that, I wanted to keep things professional between the two of us. But in the back of my mind, I wondered how long we would be able to do that. We seemed to share so much in common. We both loved animals, healthy foods, and hiking. I also found Fern’s lithe, well-toned body very attractive, a characteristic I’ve tried to conceal.
Greenwood, Vermont was a small town and people were already spreading rumors about our relationship. We may have gone so far as to have kissed once or twice, but they were the types of kisses you would give your aunt or sister.
My erection pressed against Fern’s stomach. I tried to step back, but Fern was standing on my foot.
Fern smiled coyly and stepped back, freeing my foot.
“I’m so sorry, Sky,” she said, blushing. She looked down to avoid eye contact before realizing that she was staring at my tented boxers. She quickly looked away, but she was definitely smiling.
I stepped back and closed my robe.
“Come in, Fern,” I said, stepping aside, “What’s going on?”
“I’m sorry to bother you,” she replied, with a look of distress, “But this is an emergency! You must come quickly.”
Fern owned no pets or horses but had a habit of asking me to heal small woodland creatures. The first time was a raccoon with a bowel obstruction after eating the plastic rings from a six-pack of beer. Then there was the squirrel that was attacked by a cat and lost its tail. The worst animal she brought in was a skunk with puncture wounds after its encounter with a German shepherd. Despite being agitated from the attack, Fern managed to keep the skunk calm enough for me to treat its wounds. But it still took a few days to get rid of the smell from the infirmary pen area in the back.
But this was different. There was a deep undertone of anxiety in her voice.
“What’s the matter?” I asked, “I’ve never seen you so upset before.”
“Please get dressed and come with me,” she said. The concern in her voice was palpable. “We can’t waste a second.”
I went back into the bedroom got dressed.
“Where are we going?” I asked.
“In the forest,” she said anxiously, “please hurry.”
“The forest?” I asked, “why do we need to go there?”
“I’ll get the large animal first aid kit,” she said as she headed back down the stairs.
“Can you at least tell me what’s going on?” I asked when I caught up with her in the clinic.
“There’s no time for that now,” she said going through the doorway, “we have to hurry.”
Greenwood is a small town nestled within the Green Mountains of Vermont, with easy access to numerous hiking trails. Once we were outside, Fern headed off on one of the more remote trails, setting a brisk pace. The trail would be difficult to follow in broad daylight, but at 4 in the morning in late May, it was nearly pitch dark. I considered myself to be a good hiker, but I still had difficulty keeping up with her.
I did my best to follow, but Fern had to stop several times to wait for me to catch up. We climbed a ridge and then Fern left the trail, following a small stream. After about 20 minutes, we came to a small glade. Fern led me to the far end of the clearing.
There, nearly hidden in the brush next to a tree, was a large doe with its right foreleg caught in a spring foothold trap. These traps were used for bear and mountain lions and were illegal in Vermont. The doe was obviously in pain and on closer inspection, I could see her leg was broken.
“Fern,” I said, “this poor creature’s leg is broken. There’s not much I can do for her.”
Fern looked at me with tears in her eyes.
“Please Skyler,” she implored me, “you must help her. Please!”
Fern placed her arms around the doe’s neck in an embrace. The doe was calm, but her big brown eyes showed the pain she was in.
“Alright,” I sighed, “Let’s see what we can do.”
I released the spring mechanism and Fern helped me lift the doe’s leg out of the trap. Once the leg was out, I closed the trap and tended to the doe’s wound. Three stout sticks served as splints, after I dressed and bandaged the open wound areas.
“She’s going to need more than this,” I explained to Fern, “we’re going to have to get her back to the clinic if she has any chance of surviving.”
Fern gently caressed the doe’s head and then kissed her.
“It’ll be fine,” she whispered to the doe, “you can trust him.”
The doe seemed to nod her head slightly, although it was hard to tell in the dark. Fern led her back to the stream to retrace our steps, with the doe limping along on three legs. I packed my kit and followed behind.
We were halfway up the ridge when it started to rain. Between the wet undergrowth and the steep incline, the doe struggled to climb the ridge. Fern tried to help the deer up the ridge, but the animal was too heavy for her.
Fern turned to me.
“Can you help us?” she asked. It was difficult to tell in the rain, but it looked like Fern might have been crying.
“What do you want me to do?” I asked.
“Get underneath her front legs and lift her,” Fern instructed.
“I can’t do that,” I explained, “She’ll never permit me. And even if she did, she’ll kick me to death.”
“No, she won’t,” Fern insisted, “You can do it, I’ll help you.”
I shook my head and handed Fern my kit. Fern hugged the doe’s neck while I crouched down underneath her forelegs and lifted her chest onto my back, so that most of the doe’s weight was on her hind legs with me supporting her chest and head, semi piggy-back style. I held onto her upper front thighs as I moved forward. The doe pushed herself forward with her back legs as we slowly climbed the ridge.
As we reached the top of the ridge, the rain came down harder.
“This will slow their pursuit,” Fern whispered reassuringly.
I was too out of breath to ask who she was talking to, or about.
By now, there was enough light to see the trail clearly in the rain. We slipped and slid down the rain-soaked trail and were still a mile away from the clinic when we heard the distant sound of dogs barking. The doe started to panic and pushed into me. I fell with the doe on top of me. She struggled to get up, with Fern doing her best to calm the creature down and pull her off me at the same time.
I crawled out from under the doe and with Fern’s help, we got the deer up onto its three good legs. With Fern guiding, the deer limped on her own as we resumed our trek back to the clinic. The sound of the dogs got louder, but they were still far enough away that we made it back to the clinic before they caught up with us.
I placed the doe inside one of the horse pens in the infirmary area with some fresh hay. Fern kept her quiet while I cleaned and redressed the wound. An x-ray confirmed a compound fracture of the metacarpal bone.
“If she has any chance at all,” I explained to Fern, “I’m going to have to put a plate in that leg.”
Fern looked at me and then at the doe. It was almost as if Fern was asking the doe if that was alright with her! The doe moved her head slightly. Was that a nod?
“Go ahead, doctor,” she said, “We trust you. I’ll bring her into the surgery while you get ready.”
“I’ve never operated on a deer before,” I explained, “I guess there’s a first time for everything. But I wouldn’t even attempt this if you weren’t my TA.”
Fern prepped the deer and brought her into the large animal surgery. I was amazed how cooperative the doe was being. I checked for deer ticks and was surprised to find none on her, something I would have thought to be impossible to avoid.
We both scrubbed quickly, but I was still pretty dirty under my surgical gown. With Fern’s help, we were able to put the doe under and perform the procedure in under 90 minutes. I placed a titanium plate to hold the two ends of the bone together and stitched her hide closed with 9 sutures. We returned the doe to the horse pen to recover.
I closed the door to the pen and as I turned, a pair of arms wrapped around my neck and Fern’s lips attacked my mouth. She pushed her tongue past my lips in a passionate kiss.
When she broke the kiss, she stepped back, smiling. “Oh, thank you,” she said smiling, “You were wonderful!”
I took a step back. In veterinary school, they teach you to keep a professional distance with your clients and your staff. As much as I was attracted to Fern, I had been able to maintain that professional relationship in the more than two years we’ve been working together. The unexpected kiss flustered me. I cleared my throat.
“She’s not out of the woods yet,” I said instinctively, suddenly realizing that statement was an oxymoron if taken literally, “But she never would have made it without your help.”
“She’s going to make it,” Fern said firmly, “thanks to you.”
“I still found it odd that we found no deer ticks on her,” I said, “I didn’t think that was possible in these woods.”
“Do you think we may have picked up ticks from her during our hike back?” Fern asked absently, as if she didn’t expect to find ticks on the deer.
“We should check ourselves,” I said, “I’ll wash up, while you check the schedule. We’re already half an hour late in opening up the clinic.”
I went back to my apartment, stripped down and turned on the water. A quick body check showed no signs of deer ticks, but in late May they can be pretty small and hard to pick up. I ducked into the shower to wash the remaining mud and any ticks I may have missed off me.
My eyes were closed, and I was shampooing my hair when I suddenly started thinking about Fern and what she would look like naked. Maybe it was that kiss, but I became erect and very horny. As I ducked my head under the showerhead to rinse off the shampoo, I felt a hand reach around and caress my left nipple while a second hand grabbed my cock. A pair of soft tits with hard nipples hugged my back.
“Ohhh,” I moaned under the stream of water. I was so horny, and those hands felt so good, that I just stood there enjoying the feeling of being touched while I rinsed the soap from my eyes and hair.
My eyes were still closed when I turned around. Those breasts were now pressed against my chest and the hand on my nipple dropped down to squeeze my butt while continuing to stoke my erection with the other hand.
When I opened my eyes, Fern’s smiling face and crystal blue eyes filled my field of vision. She closed her eyes as her face drew closer and she kissed me, slipping her tongue past my lips.
I sucked hungrily on her tongue and moaned into her mouth. I wrapped my arms around her lower back and pulled her against me, trapping my cock between our stomachs. She released my cock and grabbed my buttocks with both hands.
I pushed my tongue into her mouth, and she sucked on it greedily. I kept one hand on her butt while my other wandered up her back, pressing her tits firmly against my chest.
After we broke the kiss, Fern planted a series of soft kisses on my cheeks, my jaw and down my neck.
“Fern, you shouldn’t be here,” I said without much conviction.
I realized at that point that my hands were on her breasts as she was kissing and licking my neck. I squeezed her soft mounds lightly, enjoying the feeling of her small, firm nipples in my palms.
“Oh, don’t stop, don’t stop,” she cooed, lifting her lips closer to mine.
She looked up at me as she squeezed harder while stroking my erection. The tingling in my cock overwhelmed my ability to think rationally. I gently guided Fern upright by her tits and I bent down to suck on those firm nipples. My tongue seemed to tingle against her hard nipples. She held my head and moaned as I moved from one side to the other.
She pulled my head back up and kissed me again.
“I want to feel you in me,” she whispered softly. Her crystal blue eyes seemed to penetrate my soul when she said that.
“Yes,” I answered like an automaton.
My brain was so filled with my need to fuck this woman that I didn’t remember turning off the shower or carrying Fern to my bed. It was only when I was positioned above her, looking down into those eyes with her holding my cock at the entrance to her love box that I became aware of where I was and what I was doing.
“Fern,” I said gently, “this isn’t . . . we shouldn’t be …”
“Shhh,” she hushed quietly, “Look at me. Look in my eyes.”
Her eyes seemed to dance with delight. They reminded me of pools of clear water on a hot, sunny day, inviting me to dive in and be refreshed.
“It’s okay,” she said, “Let yourself go. This is your reward to share with me.”
My cock twitched in her hand as my brain sunk back into a lust-filled fog. Her outer labia opened up and my cock seemed to glide in slowly and effortlessly on its own.
Those lips were warm and wet, and the head of my cock tingled with pleasure as it pushed passed them. Her inner folds were sensuously tight, sending wave upon wave of spine-tingling pleasure to my brain and then radiated throughout my body.
She closed her eyes as my cock twitched its way deeper and deeper into that moist, warm, velvety sleeve. The descent was slow, and we both savored the feeling of that slow slide filling her tight pussy. When our pelvises met and I felt my balls touch her ass cheeks, she gave me a prolonged squeeze.
I began to pump into her slowly and she wrapped her legs around my upper thighs, her hands holding my ass as she moved her hips up and down to meet my thrusts.
“Mmmm,” she cooed contentedly, as I held myself above her with my arms as we moved against each other. Not having sex since the end of residency two and a half years ago when Kelly left me, I knew I wouldn’t be able to last very long.
I felt a twitch in my balls as my cock slid in and out against the tight walls of Fern’s pussy. That sent shivers up my spine.
“I’m afraid I’m about to—” I started to say.
She opened her eyes and looked at me.
“Shhh,” she whispered, “You can last a little longer. Just relax and enjoy this with me.”
My whole body seemed to tingle at once. It felt like my skin became more sensitive and my thrusts were more forceful. Sex had never felt so good. It was if my body suddenly got a second wind, and I picked up the pace.
Our breathing became more labored, and Fern pulled me down onto her chest. She kissed me again, slipping her tongue into my mouth before breaking off to catch our breath.
“I’m close,” she panted, “keep going.”
I ground my pelvis into her on the downthrust and was rewarded with moans and spasms. My balls twitched again. There was no holding back now.
She squeezed me tight, and my cock twitched again before I emptied my cream deep into her.
“Ohhh, fuck!” I moaned as I shook with pleasure.
“EEEE!” she screamed as her body spasmed underneath me.
We shared our intense orgasms before catching our breaths, both of us smiling uncontrollably afterwards.
It was only then that my lust-filled brain cleared, and I realized what I had done. How could I have been so stupid and selfish to violate that professional relationship with Fern? What was I thinking? Where was my self-control?
“Fern,” I said sorrowfully, “I’m so sorry. This was so unprofessional of me.”
“Don’t be ridiculous,” she replied, “I’m the one who initiated it.”
“That’s not the point,” I argued, “I should have shown more self-control. I’m responsible for my own actions and I should have known better.”
Fern reached over to hug me, but I pushed myself away. I got out of bed and reached for my clothes to get dressed.
“Sky, please,” she beckoned.
“I need to get back to the clinic,” I said, guiltily, “I’m sure I’ve kept people waiting.”
“I moved your first two appointments before coming here,” she said, “your first patient isn’t for another half hour.”
By now I was fully dressed and started for the door.
“Thank you for that,” I said, “I’ll be downstairs.”
The sound of barking and growling greeted me when I entered the clinic. There were six large Scottish deerhounds poised at the door to the animal pens in the back of the clinic growling and barking noisily at the door. They were wet from the rain and tracked water and mud into the waiting area. The dogs cornered me against the counter when I entered the room. Behind them was a youngish man whose face and name were well-known in town.
“Can I help you, Randy?” I asked.
Twenty-year-old Randolph Knox the Third was the son of the mayor and the grandson of a Vermont state senator. He ran the family’s real estate business along with his father. His family owned my building with the clinic and upstairs apartment.
Randy wore a camo raincoat with matching baseball cap and heavy boots that were covered in mud. He had a hunting rifle cradled in the crook of his arm.
“You have something that belongs to me,” he said gruffly.
“What are you talking about?” I asked, although judging from the way his dogs were behaving, I could easily guess what he wanted.
“Did you bring a deer in here this morning?” he asked, “my dogs have tracked one here.”
“There was a doe brought in earlier this morning,” I answered, omitting the fact that Fern and I were the ones who brought her in, “she had a fractured leg and I repaired it.”
“I want that deer,” he said in a loud voice.
The dogs bared their teeth and growled at me after hearing the tone of his voice.
“Would you please restrain your dogs?” I asked calmly, not wanting to show any sign of fear.
Randy ignored my request and walked towards the back door to the infirmary area. He peered through the small window overlooking the infirmary back there. While he was looking, I slipped a few dog treats onto the floor. The dogs stopped growling and lunged for the treats, giving me time to move past them and approach Randy.
“She’s in the back recovering,” I said, blocking the door with my shoulder, “and can’t be moved. Her injury looked like it came from a foothold trap. They’re illegal, you know.”
“That’s none of your business!” Randy snapped.
Immediately, the dogs surrounded me, growling viciously.
“Heel!” a female voice behind me said sharply.
There was Fern standing at the counter. She had a stern look on her face.
The dogs immediately stopped growling and a few whines could be heard instead.
“Sit!” Fern commanded.
All the dogs immediately sat, their tongues out and panting.
“Well, if it isn’t the tree hugger,” Randy turned and sneered at Fern, “I suppose you were the one who brought that deer in here.”
“Randy, what do you want with that doe, anyway?” I asked, “It was trapped illegally and out of season. I’m required to report her injury to the authorities and if you just let this go, I won’t have to include your name in my report.”
“The authorities don’t scare me,” he spat, “my family is the authority around here.”
“Once she’s recovered, I’m required by law to turn her over to Vermont Fish and Game,” I said.
“We’ll see about that,” he smiled, looking back at Fern, “Dogs!”
The six large beasts stood at attention. They eyed Fern intently, although they made no sound.
“Notify me when she’s ready to be moved,” Randy said, “I want that doe.”
With that, he and the dogs went back out into the rain.
The waiting room was a mess, there were muddy paw prints everywhere along with Randy’s muddy boot prints. I got out a mop and a bucket to clean up.
“Let me do that, doctor,” Fern said reaching for the mop.
Because of my guilt from my actions upstairs, I couldn’t look Fern in the eye. I didn’t say anything to her as I mopped the floor. Fern took out a spray bottle and some rags and wiped the mud off the chairs and benches.
We were still cleaning when Mrs. Tuttle came in with her cat.
The rest of the morning was quiet and uneventful. I said nothing to Fern other than the minimal conversation needed to run the clinic. Fern made several attempts to apologize to me, but we were too busy, and I wasn’t ready to have that conversation with her. I was already too ashamed of myself to even look her in the eyes.
Normally I ate lunch upstairs in my apartment, often sharing lunch with Fern. But because of my guilt, I decided to brave the rain and eat at the Greenwood Diner instead, mostly to avoid a conversation with Fern.
The Greenwood Diner was a small greasy spoon eatery whose existence is somewhat of an anomaly. It hadn’t changed from the early 60’s and the three tables with chairs were well worn and need of replacement. Greenwood was a small village, and the villagers usually didn’t eat out very often, which explained why the décor hadn’t changed in nearly 60 years. The diner owed its existence to the small convenience store and gas station attached to it.
The place was empty when I sat down at the table near the back window. Gail, the waitress/line cook/cashier came over to take my order. She was a late middle-aged woman who lived alone with her cats. She was a bit overweight but always very friendly, kind, and a bit motherly.
“What do we owe the pleasure, hon?” Gail asked, pulling out her note pad.
“I’d rather not talk about it,” I replied, regretting the words after I said them, remembering too late that Gail was a bit motherly.
“Uh oh,” she said, putting down her note pad, “Bad day at the clinic. It is personal or professional?”
“It’s both,” I replied, “But I said I didn’t want to talk about it.”
“It’s about Fern, isn’t it, hon?” she guessed, “I’ve seen that look before.”
She sat down in the chair at the opposite side of the table.
“Look, Gail,” I began, “I appreciate your concern, but I just need some time to myself and a quick lunch before I have to get back to the clinic.”
“Okay,” she said, standing up, “I understand. But if you need someone to talk to, you know where I am.”
“Thank you,” I said, looking at the menu, “I guess I’ll have the BLT.”
“We’re out of tomatoes,” she replied, “What’s your second choice?”
“I’ll take the chef’s salad instead, then,” I said after taking another look at the menu.
“The hard-boiled eggs went bad,” she replied, “and I’m going to need some time to make more dressing.”
I put down the menu and looked at her.
“Okay,” I said, “what do you have?”
“I can make you a grilled cheese sandwich,” she said smiling.
“Fine,” I said, “can I have a side of cole slaw with that?”
Sue looked at me.
“Okay,” I sighed, “how about a side of chips and a cup of coffee?”
“Good choice!” she said, smiling, “give me a couple of minutes.”
For the most part, Gail left me alone during lunch, thanks to the customers who came into the convenience store. By this time the rain had stopped, and I left a generous tip when I paid the bill and walked back to the clinic.
When I returned, I checked up on the doe. That’s how I found Fern inside the pen with her arms around the doe’s neck. The doe was awake and up on her feet standing gingerly on its injured leg.
Fern looked up at me, smiling, her arms still around the doe’s neck.
“She’s bearing weight on it already, and it doesn’t hurt her – I mean it doesn’t appear to hurt her very much,” Fern remarked.
“It’s probably still numb from the anesthesia,” I mumbled, looking away to avoid eye contact, “She’ll need to stay calm for the next couple of days.”
Fern left the doe and approached me.
“You’re not going to release her to Randy, are you?” she asked anxiously.
I turned and walked back to the waiting area without answering her.
The afternoon turned into quite a zoo, both literally and figuratively. Aside from a high volume of rabies and distemper shots, I neutered a litter of 2-month-old rabbits, treated a sick guinea pig and two gerbils. Then, just as we were about to lock up, Hollis, the owner of the gas station/convenience store/greasy spoon came in with Charly, his chocolate lab with a broken foot.
“One of the customers accidently ran over his foot,” Hollis exclaimed.
We took Charly back to the surgery to mend his foot.
It was well over an hour past our usual closing time when we finally closed up. Fern was there waiting for me.
“Can we talk?” she asked.
“There’s nothing to talk about,” I replied, “I crossed a line I should never have crossed, Fern. You deserve better from me.”
“Doctor,” she began, then started over, “Sky, I just wanted to thank you for all you did this morning. I think you’re very professional and you have nothing to feel guilty about. What happened this morning was entirely my fault. I just wanted to reward you for all that you did. That’s all.”
“Fern,” I said, looking down, “you don’t understand. I’m not supposed to do that.”
“Do what?” she asked, “You’re not supposed to be human? That you didn’t enjoy it? I know I did. I have feelings for you, and I enjoyed what we did.”
“That’s not the point,” I said, “We work together. My feelings shouldn’t interfere with our professional relationship. You’re the best TA I’ve ever worked with, but if I can’t control myself around you, I’m going to have to find a new TA.”
“Are you serious?” Fern asked.
I couldn’t answer her, I was so upset with myself.
“Good night, Fern,” I said as I climbed the stairs to my apartment.
My alarm went off, but I was still exhausted. I had an uneasy sleep thinking about how unprofessional it was to have sex with my TA. It didn’t help knowing that I was sleeping in the same bed we made love in.
Everything reminded me of her. I could smell her hair on my pillow, a pleasant combination of clover blossoms and a hemlock forest. Memories of caressing her soft skin and tender breasts. My morning erection reminded me of how good it felt to be inside her velvety, tight …
I had to stop thinking about that. It only made me feel more guilty. I tossed and turned all night wondering what I should do. I was so attracted to Fern, but she was forbidden fruit and vulnerable as my only employee. I couldn’t take advantage of her like I did.
Last night I told her I might have to find another TA. But I didn’t want to lose her, she was the best TA I had ever seen. We worked well together and her ability to calm animals was unparalleled, almost magical. I would be out of my mind to lose somebody like that.
But I was out of my mind as it was. I realized I’ve harbored a desire for Fern for a while now. I just had no idea what to do about it.
During my shower, I kept secretly hoping she would surprise me again. But I was also dreading it, realizing I wouldn’t be able to resist repeating the same mistake I had made yesterday. I was erect just thinking about it. I turned the water temperature to cold to shake off those thoughts.
Not having much of an appetite, I had a bite of toast for breakfast and went down to check up on the doe. That’s where I found Fern inside the pen with her, the doe’s head resting on Fern’s lap. Fern’s face looked like she had been crying.
“Everything alright?” I asked.
“Fine,” she sniffed.
“Okay,” I said skeptically, “I’ll be doing my rounds at the farms today. Call me if anything comes up.”
Fern turned and kissed the doe on the head as I left.
Farm rounds were generally fun. It was almost always large animal veterinary medicine, although there was the occasional dog or cat injury that I was asked to see “while I’m there.” Then there was always the occasional breech calf to be delivered, or infected udder to be treated. After being in Greenwood for almost two and a half years, I’d gotten to know the local farmers pretty well. There were a couple of sheep farms in the area as well as an alpaca farm.
Farm rounds usually pay very well for the amount of work required, but in the past 6 months, these small family farms had been struggling. As a result, I’d agreed to take deferred payments or payment in eggs, beef, lamb, or chicken.
It was late when I got back to the clinic, a little past my usual closing time. The big black Ford F-150 truck in the parking lot told me that Randy was back again.
I went inside and found the waiting area empty, but I heard shouting inside the infirmary area.
When I opened the door, I saw Fern in front of the gate to the doe’s pen blocking Randy.
“For the last time, get out of the way, tree hugger!” Randy shouted.
“Never!” Fern shouted back.
“What’s going on here?” I yelled.
Randy turned and looked at me.
“Will you tell this cunt to get out of my way,” Randy demanded, “That’s my doe.”
“Watch your mouth!” I reprimanded, “She’s doing her job and you have no right to walk in here demanding to take an animal under my care. Now get out of here!”
“Alright, I’ll leave,” he said, pushing past me, “But if you want to keep your lease, you’d better turn over that doe to me.”
After he left, I turned to Fern.
“Are you alright?” I asked.
She nodded. “Just a little shaken up, that’s all,” she replied.
“Go home and get some rest,” I said, “I’ll take care of things here.”
After seeing Fern safely to the door, I went upstairs and had a can of soup for dinner and checked up on the doe before doing some reading and going to bed. With almost no sleep the night before, I was exhausted.
I woke up early the next morning and after a shave and a quick shower, I went downstairs an hour before the clinic opened to check up on the doe. But I found the gate to the pen was open and the doe was nowhere to be seen.
“Shit!” I said to no one out loud.
I checked the surveillance camera to the infirmary area and discovered 15 minutes of static on the recording just past 11 PM. After the static cleared, the doe was gone.
My first thought was Fern. She was worried that Randy would take her. But the doe was still recovering. Surely Fern would never risk the animal’s life by taking her out of the pen before she could walk safely.
Then I realized that as my landlord, Randy had a key to the clinic. Maybe he took the doe. But I didn’t hear any dogs barking or gunshots during the night. Plus, Randy was hardly the most subtle man on the planet, I was sure I would have heard something if he took the doe.
I went back and checked on the two other animals in the recovery area, the chocolate lab and the rabbit, both of whom were recovering from yesterday’s surgery. They looked fine and were ready to go home today when their owners came by. After feeding them, I went back into my office to fill out paperwork on the doe and two cows with their calves from yesterday.
It was almost time to open the clinic when Fern came in.
“The doe is gone,” I said, “Do you know anything about that?”
“She is?” Fern responded without answering the question.
“Yes,” I said, “I came down to check on her and found the pen gate was open and the deer missing.”
“Did you check the surveillance camera?” she asked.
“Yes, and the doe was there until 11 PM, then there was 15 minutes of some sort of static interference. When that cleared, the doe was gone,” I said.
“Do you think Randy took her?” Fern asked, with only a hint of concern in her voice.
“That’s a possibility,” I said, “But you still haven’t answered my question. Do you know anything about that?”
“Let me get things set up for our first patient,” she said, avoiding eye contact.
“Fern, stop,” I said, “Ever since that deer showed up, you’ve been acting strangely. What’s going on? How did you even know that doe was injured deep in the woods at 4 in the morning?”
“Well, I -” she began to say.
Just then the door opened, and Randy walked in. He was carrying a rope and had a pistol holstered to his belt.
“I’ve come to fetch my deer,” he said, walking towards the door to the infirmary pens.
“You can’t go back there,” I said, moving to block him from opening the door, “There are animals recovering in there. They need to say calm.”
“Fuck that,” Randy replied. He was already ahead of me and opened the door.
I followed him into the infirmary. He stopped when we reached the empty horse pen.
“Where is she?” he asked.
“She’s not here.”
That came from Fern, who had followed up into the infirmary.
“What have you done with her?” Randy said, angrily moving slowly towards Fern.
I blocked his path.
“Don’t blame her,” I said, “I released her last night. She’s probably far away by now.”
Randy was livid. He looked like he was about to strike me with his fist until he paused and put his arm down.
“She couldn’t have gotten very far on that bum leg,” he said, sneering, “Me and the dogs should be able to track her down and catch up with her pretty quickly. You may have just done me a favor, Doctor.”
He taunted me with that last word.
Randy pushed past me and Fern. We followed him into the waiting room and watch him leave. After the door closed, I turned to Fern.
“There’s a good possibility I might just lose my lease over this,” I said to Fern, “Now will you tell me what’s going on?”
“Skyler, I -” she began again.
The door opened again and our first patient of the day, a border collie named Sally, limped in on a leash with its owner, Webster Judd, one of the local dairy farmers.
“Porcupine again,” Webster said, “This time it was only her paw.”
Sally had been in last year with porcupine quills around her mouth. I removed them at the time.
“Border collies are smart animals,” I said, “I’m surprised she’d go anywhere near them again.”
“The porcupine got too close to one of the calves,” Webster explained, “she was trying to chase him off.”
Fern brought Sally back to the surgery and prepped her. She assisted me as I removed the quill and sutured the small incision I made to remove the barb. Fern dressed the wound while I talked with Webster.
“I can keep her here overnight if you like,” I said, “Or you can take her home if you think you can keep her calm over the next couple of days.”
“She’ll be fine at home,” Webster said, smiling, “Thank you, doctor.”
The rest of the day was just as busy. We worked through lunch, and I never got a chance to get back to Fern about the doe until just before closing time. The last patient of the day closed the door, and I turned back to Fern.
“Okay,” I said, “they’re gone. Now tell me, what’s going on?”
“I’m sorry, Sky,” she said, “I can’t tell you—”
The clinic door opened again. It seemed like I was never going to get to the bottom of this.
Next Chapter: The Pixie Queen.